The CBD industry is booming. Some even call it “the green rush.” From CBD flower to CBD oil, consumers are clearing products off the shelves. The hemp and CBD market surpassed $1 billion in sales in 2019. California was the leading state for CBD sales last year, with an estimated $730 million haul. Florida and New York were second and third, with an estimated $290 million and $215 million in sales, respectively. Wide-eyed growers and businessmen alike have been watching the market grow, and are excited to get involved. But before they dive headfirst into the hemp market, eager entrepreneurs have one very important question pertaining to return on investment: How many pounds of hemp does it take to make CBD?
What is CBD Content in Hemp?
First, let’s explore CBD content in hemp. The CBD content in hemp refers to how much CBD is in each strain. The amount of CBD in hemp varies greatly and is dependent on how the plant was cultivated. Consumers can check the CBD content by referencing the Certificate of Analysis (CoA), which should be placed on every cannabis product you purchase. In fact, consumers should completely disregard any company selling cannabis products that do not have a CoA on the labeling.
Growers do not have the opportunity to utilize a COA, so they must rely on information from seed banks or anecdotal evidence to decide which strain they would like to grow. Most growers opt to produce strains that have a high CBD content.
How Much CBD Does Hemp Contain?
The industry average is roughly 10% CBD content, but there are several strains with lower and higher content. The disparity in CBD content can be attributed to federal laws. Industrial hemp, which is grown for the purpose of fiber use, typically does not contain a heavy amount of CBD. Because industrial hemp is not grown with the flower in mind, it is not typically used for CBD production. Instead, hemp must be grown in an industrial cannabis setting in order to produce CBD worth selling.
How Much Hemp Does Each Plant Yield?
This is another tricky question. How much hemp a cannabis plant yields depends on several factors, many of which are connected to the grower. A decent amount of care and work must go into growing healthy, beautiful, and potent hemp flowers. The temperature, lighting, and watering schedule play a vital role in the yield as well. A high yield would be around four pounds per cannabis plant, which is highly unlikely. A low yield would be about a quarter pound (or one ounce) of hemp flower per cannabis plant.
Hemp plants with very high yields are most likely grown outdoors. That is because outdoor areas allow the plant to grow taller, although the environment is often less controlled. This can result in a higher yield with a lower CBD content. Hemp plants with lower yields are often grown indoors, where the environment is under strict control. This can produce flowers with higher CBD content, although the yield is lower.
The strain of the cannabis plant also comes into play when calculating yield. Some strains are very fruitful, while others may flower scarcely.
All of these factors combined make it hard to pinpoint exactly how much hemp comes from one cannabis plant. Be wary of any website or friend that tells you a specific number (“you can get 4 pounds from this plant”). Keep in mind their results had various factors involved.
How Many Pounds of Hemp Does it Take to Make CBD Oil?
As we stated earlier, CBD hemp harvests vary. Factors such as location, nutrients, temperature, and spacing all play a part in the quality of the hemp. Technically speaking, you can get CBD oil from just one pound of hemp, although it may only yield enough for personal use. The strain is also an important factor when it comes to the process of extracting CBD from hemp. Certain strains have much higher CBD profiles than others, which means more of the beneficial cannabinoids will come from them.
For example, if a strain has a 15% CBD profile, you should expect to extract roughly 15% of the biomass of the plant. Meaning, if the entire plant weighs 5 pounds (in dry weight), you should expect to produce roughly 0.75 pounds of CBD. Of course, this can also vary based on several factors, such as the extraction process.
How Many Pounds of Hemp Does it Take to Make 1lb of CBD?
Once again, this depends on the strain of the CBD hemp flower. Let’s say one farmer decides to grow a strain that produces 10% CBD on average (from the dry product of course). This means they will need roughly 10 pounds from that strain to produce 1 pound of CBD. In comparison, let’s say another farmer decides to grow a strain that produces an average of 20% CBD. Since the CBD potency is double the second farmer will only need half as much hemp to produce 1 pound of CBD. Therefore, the second farmer will only need 5 pounds of the 20% CBD strain to produce 1 pound of CBD.
Although there are various factors at play that will determine your end result, it’s clear to see that the hemp market is very profitable. Even for those who may not want to invest, but instead grow for their own consumption, this information is vital. Most commercial CBD products contain around 10-30 percent CBD, and if you’re doing it right, you should be able to grow hemp that can produce a similar CBD content. Just remember, lighting, space, strain, and environment play vital roles in how much CBD your hemp plant produces. More information here.